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YEARENDER: Elusive peace, stalled GPH-NDFP talks

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

YEARENDER: Elusive peace, stalled GPH-NDFP talks

 By RONALYN V. OLEA
Bulatlat.com
MANILA – When President Benigno Aquino III assumed the presidency on the banner of change, there was much hope among the Filipino people. Peace based on justice is one of the major aspirations of the Filipino people.

Upon taking over from the previous administration, peace talks between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), and the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) began in earnest. Somehow it has lost steam. While the peace talks with the MILF is still ongoing, albeit at a slower pace and not without obstacles, the talks with the NDFP has been postponed without any definite timetable for its resumption.

“How could we talk peace if our hands are tied?”

This was the statement of Alan Jazmines, one of the 13 detained consultants of the in an interview with Bulatlat.com.
Jazmines, 64, was arrested hours before the resumption of peace talks between the government and the NDFP in February. He was charged with rebellion and murder and is now detained at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center at Camp Crame, Quezon City.

Jazmines, member of the NDFP reciprocal working committee for socio-economic reforms, said the release of detained NDFP consultants is a “prejudicial question.” “Release us first. How could we talk [to the GPH panel] if we are detained?” Jazmines said.

The refusal of the GPH to release detained NDFP consultants and other individuals protected under the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (Jasig) has been the major obstacle to the continuation of the peace talks.

The Jasig is an agreement signed by the GPH (then called Government of the Republic of the Philippines or the GRP) and the NDFP in February 1995. It provides protection and immunity to all participants to the peace talks. Jasig-protected persons are consultants and personnel of both parties supposedly immune from arrest and any other form of harassment.

After the first round of talks between the two parties in Oslo, Norway in February, no other formal dialogue has taken place. The NDFP has accused the GPH of reneging on previous agreements while the latter claimed the NDFP’s demand is a precondition to the peace talks..... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/01/02/yearender-elusive-peace-stalled-gph-ndfp-talks/

The regime tightens control of dissent AN OUTSIDERS VIEW Ken Fuller 01/03/2012

The regime tightens control of dissent

AN OUTSIDERS VIEW
Ken Fuller
01/03/2012
In the early hours of Nov. 30, some 1,400 members of the regime’s security forces moved upon a much smaller group of protesters who had been camped in the grounds of a major provincial city’s administrative center.

Despite repeated claims regarding the peaceful nature of their protest, one group of demonstrators found itself swiftly surrounded by armed police officers in paramilitary garb while another team used knives to open tents, forcibly ejecting the occupants and destroying whatever property they found inside. The tent acting as a medical center did not escape the attackers’ attention; one witness says that this was soon reduced to “shreds,” its remains thrown across the park along with other property forcibly taken from the demonstrators..... MORE
SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20120103com5.html

Obama signs controversial defense bill (w/ Video)




  
Obama signs controversial defense bill (w/ Video)

US President Barack Obama has put pen to paper on a $662 billion defense bill despite serious reservations from critics over the proposed handling of terror suspects. The bill also brought into effect a new round of strict sanctions against Iran.

Some provisions of the bill raise serious concerns among human rights advocates, who argue that they could allow indefinite detention and interrogation of any American citizen suspected to be linked to terrorism. They say it would deny US citizens legal rights protected by the Constitution..... MORE

SourceRT.com

URL: http://rt.com/news/obama-signs-defense-bill-087/

‘Infidel Santa’ killed in Tajikistan

‘Infidel Santa’ killed in Tajikistan

 A young man dressed up as Father Frost, the Russian counterpart of Santa Claus, has been brutally killed in Tajikistan. The assailants reportedly shouted “infidel” as they stabbed him to death.

The tragedy unfolded in the capital, Dushanbe, on Sunday night. Parviz Davlatbekov put on a traditional Father Frost costume to visit his friends and celebrate New Year with them. But before reaching his destination, the 24-year-old encountered a group of youths who beat him up and stabbed him. He died in hospital shortly after..... MORE

SourceRT.com

URL: http://rt.com/news/infidel-santa-killed-tajikistan-133/

Palparan ordered by court to surrender

Palparan ordered by court to surrender


“If he is not guilty, why does he hide? He has to have the courage to face the truth.” – Mrs. Concepcion Empeño
By RONALYN V. OLEA
Bulatlat.com

MALOLOS, Bulacan – As long as retired Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan Jr. remains at large, he could not seek relief from the court.

This was the decision of Judge Teodora Gonzales of the Bulacan Regional Trial Court Branch 14 in today’s hearing on the charges filed against Palparan and three other personnel of the Philippine Army in connection with the disappearance of two University of the Philippines (UP) students Karen Empeño and Sherlyn Cadapan.

Palparan, through his lawyer Narzal Mallares , filed an omnibus motion for preliminary investigation to quash the warrant of arrest and hold departure order issued against him for kidnapping and illegal detention charges.

“He has to surrender. The motion he filed cannot be acted upon,” Gonzales said during today’s hearing.
Members of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) who are serving as private prosecutors in the case welcomed the judge’s ruling. “He [Palparan] cannot have his cake and eat it too while trifling with the judicial and legal process,” the NUPL said in a text message.

Speaking to members of the media shortly after the hearing, Mrs. Erlinda Cadapan, mother of Sherlyn, said she was aghast that Palparan has not come out.

Top: Mrs. Erlinda Cadapan and Mrs. Concepcion Empeño call on retired Army Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan Jr. to face them in court. The two mothers have been searching for their daughters for more than five years.(Photos by Ronalyn V. Olea / bulatlat.com)
“I was expecting to see him [in court] today to face the crimes he did but it’s the same, he continues to hide,” Mrs. Cadapan said.
Mrs. Cadapan and Mrs. Concepcion Empeño, mother of Karen, have been searching for their daughters since the two were abducted, along with farmer Manuel Merino, on June 26, 2006 in Hagonoy, Bulacan.

Mrs. Empeño reiterated the call for Palparan to come out. “If he is not guilty, why does he hide? He has to have the courage to face the truth.”

Asked about the whereabouts of Palparan, Mallares said he has not communicated with his client the past few days. “We discussed the advantages and disadvantages of coming out. He has the final decision. The general feels he is being attacked personally,” Mallares said.
Mallares also slammed public statements against Palparan. “If the case is already in court, they should stop issuing statements that are not true. He is still presumed innocent until proven guilty.”

“He [Palparan] remains confident that he would obtain justice. We must see the good things he did for the country as a courageous soldier. He only served the country.

Accusations against him are mere speculations and without any basis,” Mallares said..... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/01/02/palparan-ordered-by-court-to-surrender/

PALpak NO HOLDS BARRED Armida Siguion-Reyna 01/03/2012

PALpak

NO HOLDS BARRED
Armida Siguion-Reyna
01/03/2012
The word is Tagalog slang for sloppy work or performance, says an online dictionary under bansa.org. That the first three letters collectively make the acronym for Philippine Airlines isn’t mere coincidence. Palpak is, and palpak will be, there’s no other airline now palpak-er than PAL.

Time was when the family would not go anywhere, unless on PAL. My husband Sig was lawyer for the company, and he took such great pride in it, we flew PAL to wherever, whenever there was traveling to be done, whether for business or pleasure. There were free trips and discounts, but we paid for the most part. In those days you never presumed the freebies were for the asking, so came the day when Sig was no longer lawyering for them, we continued to patronize PAL and kept track of friends we’d made in PAL, like Pat Waln in Los Angeles and Nardoni in Italy, whose first name I forget, but whose face I still see in my head..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20120103com4.html

House to Senate: Deny CJ’s plea, convict Corona By Gerry Baldo and Angie M. Rosales 01/03/2012

2ND IMPEACH CASE VS SC’S DEL CASTILLO PURSUED

House to Senate: Deny CJ’s plea, convict Corona

By Gerry Baldo and Angie M. Rosales 01/03/2012

The House prosecution panel in the impeachment case against Chief Justice Renato Corona yesterday asked the Senate Impeachment Court to deny the respondent’s petition to dismiss the case and to convict the CJ.

At the same time, the House will be pursuing the impeachment case against a second SC Justice which would fill up all of the time of the Senate, should the complaint be filed while the trial of Corona goes on..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20120103hed1.html

Double-whammy greets Arroyo for new year By Gerry Baldo and Jason Faustino 01/03/2012

Double-whammy greets Arroyo for new year

By Gerry Baldo and Jason Faustino 01/03/2012

When it rains, it pours, particularly on former president Gloria Arroyo who aside from receiving another graft charge yesterday for an exotic offense called illegal frequencies trading, has also in a strange stroke of luck, had her three graft charges earlier filed by the Ombudsman raffled off to the Sandiganbayan’s Fourth Division headed by Associate Justice Gregory Ong, an appointee of former President Joseph Estrada, who was toppled by an elite people power revolution that brought her the presidency in a silver platter in 2001.

Ong, the chairman of Fourth Division, nevertheless, said the cases against Mrs. Arroyo in connection with the botched $329 million National Broadband Network (NBN) deal with China’s Zhongxing Telecommunication Equipment (ZTE) Corp. will be treated just like any other ordinary case. Two other graft cases were consolidated in the same court because they were related..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20120103hed2.html

MILF sees little hope for 2012 peace pact By Mario J. Mallari 01/03/2012

MILF sees little hope for 2012 peace pact

By Mario J. Mallari 01/03/2012

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) is not “very optimistic” about the prospect of striking a peace agreement with the Aquino administration within the year as what the government has projected earlier.

MILF chief negotiator Mohegher Iqbal said that while the MILF has noted political will in the administration of President Aquino, the main contention remains to be on how much power the national government is willing to give the Bangsamoro people under the proposed sub-state..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20120103hed5.html

De Lima removes NBI ‘assets’ By Benjamin B. Pulta 01/03/2012

De Lima removes NBI ‘assets’

By Benjamin B. Pulta 01/03/2012

Armed non-organic personnel in the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI)have been removed from the service by Justice Secretary Leila de Lima as she warned the men are fast becoming “private armies” by individuals.

De Lima said that she revoked the authority given by the NBI to persons who were neither organic nor confidential agents of the Bureau following the incident involving Japanese national Noriyo Ohara who was detained by NBI agents..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20120103nat1.html

VP Binay tasks NHA to accelerate housing aid to ‘Sendong’ victims 01/03/2012

VP Binay tasks NHA to accelerate housing aid to ‘Sendong’ victims

01/03/2012
Vice President and Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) Chairman Jejomar Binay tasked the National Housing Authority (NHA), through its General Manager lawyer Chito Cruz, to accelerate provision of housing assistance to families affected by typhoon Sendong in Cagayan de Oro, Iligan and Dumaguete.

The NHA is coordinating with concerned local government units (LGUs) as well as other government and private sector organizations on plans to provide housing assistance to affected families..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20120103nat3.html

VP Binay’s Web site hacked By Michaela P. del Callar 01/03/2012

VP Binay’s Web site hacked

By Michaela P. del Callar 01/03/2012

Unknown hackers broke into the Web site of Vice President Jejomar Binay on Sunday but inflicted no serious damage to it, claiming they did it out of “growing passion of concern to intensify information security in the Philippines.”

It was the second time since June 2011 that the Vice President’s official homepage was infiltrated by hackers and the first breach of cyber security to hit the government this year.

A group calling themselves PrivateX posted a message on the defaced Web site calling for more urgent measures to protect government Web sites as “occupants of the West are still on the move and in no such time, Manila, will be the center of unethical activities in Asia.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20120103met3.html

Lawmaker asks NBI to track down behind Ramgen, girlfriend sex video uploader By Angie M. Rosales 01/03/2012

Lawmaker asks NBI to track down behind Ramgen, girlfriend sex video uploader

By Angie M. Rosales 01/03/2012

Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. yesterday asked the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to hunt down the culprits behind the uploading in the Internet of the latest sex video which happened to feature his slain half-brother and his girlfriend.

The lawmaker wanted the NBI to immediately conduct an investigation to effect the arrest and prosecution of those behind the dissemination in cyberspace of the said video and prevent reproduction of the material by the public..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20120103met1.html

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